SWINDON SOLDIERS RETURN: SWINDON'S Gulf War heroes returned home to a tearful reunion with their loved ones.

Wives, girlfriends, mothers and sons all gathered at the Swindon Territorial Army Centre in Church Place to welcome members of the Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry's A Squadron.

A coach carrying the 37 soldiers pulled up at the centre at 8pm last night, having landed at RAF Brize Norton earlier in the day.

The Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry has a proud history dating back to 1794, when it was created to counter the threat of a Napoleonic invasion.

The soldiers from Swindon were all experts in decontamination trained in nuclear, biological and chemical defence and were sent out to decontaminate military staff and vehicles should they have been attacked with weapons of mass destruction.

As extensive use of weapons of mass destruction was not found while they were in Iraq many of the soldiers were retrained and took on a policing role, ensuring law and order was maintained in the streets of the country's many villages and towns. Soldiers were also involved in the "hearts and minds" campaign to win over the Iraqi population.

Many soldiers said their fondest memory of the tour was the ecstatic reception they received from local people who had been freed from Saddam Hussein's regime.

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